Self Help.

The widest variety of books in any bookshop can be found in the “Self Help” sections. The one industry that did not suffer during the recent recession is the self help industry. In fact, it is reported to have grown faster than ever before.

What does that say about all those people who are willing to spend money to improve themselves? From what condition of existence to what? Why is there such a strident demand for such advise? Why are these people not satisfied with the status quo?

The answer is in one word. Conditioning. We must de-condition ourselves, if that is the word/phrase to use.

Uddhared ātmanātmānaḿ

nātmānam avasādayet

ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur

ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ.

Bhagwat Gita Ch VI Verse 5.

uddharet — one must deliver; ātmanā — by the mind; ātmānam — the conditioned soul; na — never; ātmānam — the conditioned soul; avasādayetput into degradation; ātmā — mind; eva — certainly; hi — indeed; ātmanaḥ — of the conditioned soul; bandhuḥ — friend; ātmā — mind; eva — certainly; ripuḥ — enemy; ātmanaḥ — of the conditioned soul.

One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

Bandhur ātmātmanas tasya

yenātmaivātmanā jitaḥ

anātmanas tu śatrutve

vartetātmaiva śatru-vat

Bhagwat Gita Ch VI Verse 6

bandhuḥ — friend; ātmā — the mind; ātmanaḥ — of the living entity; tasya — of him; yena — by whom; ātmā — the mind; eva — certainly; ātmanā — by the living entity; jitaḥ — conquered; anātmanaḥ — of one who has failed to control the mind; tu — but; śatrutve — because of enmity; varteta — remains; ātmā eva — the very mind; śatru-vatas an enemy.

For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where eleven of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by yours truly. The ten other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

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